Discordant Abomination

Ignatius chewed with a blissful savagery, studying the scar on the man’s nose and listening to his whistling. “Do I hear a strain from Scarlatti?” Ignatius asked finally. “I thought I was whistling ‘Turkey in the Straw.’” “I had hoped that you might be familiar with Scarlatti’s work. He was the last of the musicians,” […]

Teary-Eyed Tunes

From the moment of conception, we begin compiling playlists for our funerals.  My grandmother’s is slated to be a multi-day lollapalooza. As you can probably guess, this post is about how sounds play to our emotions.  Think back to your most visceral art experiences–a spontaneous concert or a midnight showing.  Can you remember an instance […]

Classical Gas

Prosed-out thoughts on the Takács Quartet and Marc-André Hamelin‘s performance at LOC last Thursday… I love the ’90s… Takács blend, but not like pre- concert smoothie. Hamelin: no hair but substantive flair. Classical music is alive and dying. Not tonight, though. All good seats this house has, right back-row Yoda? Sometimes English syntax doesn’t do music justice, and music deserves justice. […]

Le Quattro Stagioni

German-born British composer Max Richter’s re- (or de) composed Four Seasons by beloved red head Antonio Vivaldi. In this reworking, the Möbius sequences of Vivaldi and Bach meet the static harmony of minimalist composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich. If you enjoy hearing classic works from a fresh perspective, listen to the other “recomposed” works from […]

Point Taken

Alex Ross summarizes the structural problem ailing contemporary classical music: Wouldn’t it be great if the media were covering significant new works by living composers, instead of reporting the discovery of an exceedingly minor piece by Beethoven? As an aside, wouldn’t it also be great if we could all just get along… Minnesota Orchestra violist Sam Bergman and his brothers […]